How To Improve Employee Engagement In A Small Business

As a small-business owner, the importance of finding a group of quality employees is of the utmost importance. What’s even more important is making sure that these qualified individuals work together as a team to enhance the financial success of your business. However, working in close quarters with a diverse blend of personalities can sometimes bring unwanted contention in the workplace.

“Team building has many benefits for businesses. It improves productivity, increases employee motivation, encourages collaboration and builds trust and respect among employees.” Research also suggests that good company culture can increase profitability.

In my experience working with small businesses, I’ve found several ways to help strengthen company culture and improve employee engagement. Here are five of them:

Make Your Employees Feel Valued

Your small business is only as successful as your employees feel. They are your first line of defense and often the face of your company. As such, your employees want to feel as though their work is valued. Whether that is simply congratulating them on a recent win or noticing work-related improvements, when an employee feels valued, you will almost certainly see an increase in motivation. And motivation is contagious in the workplace. It’s also important to remain fair in the treatment of your employees. Be clear about the mission and values of your business, and lay the ground rules of what is expected of your employees. They will appreciate the direct nature of your leadership and feel secure knowing the goals at hand.

Small Perks Go A Long Way

A little friendly competition between co-workers is a healthy way to promote motivation, innovation and performance. After all, competition drives business. Why not put together a small incentive package or award program for a job well done? Improve employee engagement by offering a contest for the best costume or a work-related trivia game. Rewarding progress, especially in relation to elevating and implementing your business’s mission, will maximize employee engagement and the overall success of your business. Your employees will be striving for that gold star in no time.

It’s been established that employee engagement increases productivity in the workplace. And, unfortunately, it is a concept that can be overlooked when coupled with the overwhelming task of keeping your small business profitable in these turbulent economic times.

Give Recognition And Offer Advice

In this case, silence is not golden. When an employee is constantly putting forth effort in their job, they crave feedback. An employee may start to second guess themselves if their supervisor doesn’t offer advice, provide constructive critiques or give recognition. This can lead to an unenthusiastic employee, which will bring down your company culture almost instantly. Take the time to train your employees on how certain tasks should be carried out, while also acknowledging those who think outside of the box and offer solutions to problems that may arise. It’s also been noted that Gen Z employees, in particular, require immediate and concise feedback right after a task has been completed. Perhaps it’s time to throw out the old notion of waiting until the annual performance review and give more consistent and timely feedback.

Team Building Activities

Hosting in-office, as well as out-of-office team-building exercises and activities, are always a good way to boost engagement. From Lunch and Learns to community service, there are many ways to wrangle your employees together and make time for valuable engagement activities. This not only allows co-workers to get to know each other on a deeper level but teaches them how to problem solve and cooperate together. These are vital skills to hone when part of a successful team. Team building activities can also break up the monotony of the daily grind and bring forth a positive community culture.


As a small-business owner, it’s important to be approachable. Make the time to check in with your employees on an individual basis. Check the temperature of the environment in your workplace: Is it in need of some team-building activities? How about a social lunch? It’s important to stay on top of how your employees are not only performing but also how they feel about their performance. Ask them questions and be open to receiving feedback. Are there things that you could be doing better? Are there any changes that could make your business more successful? Some of the best ideas come from an outside perspective. Keep an open-door policy and it will create an environment where brainstorming and creativity can flow.

Maintaining a small employee overturn percentage is the top priority for a small business, and keeping employee engagement high seems to be the ticket.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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